Softchoice installs Oracle ERP to manage growth

Canada’s largest reselle says it has outgrown their internal ERP resources and is looking to Oracle solutions to ease its global expansion.

Softchoice Tuesday said it has gone live on the Oracle Corp. 9i Database and Oracle Business Suite. The reseller will employ the Oracle solutions in both their Canadian and U.S. offices, says Softchoice CIO Sheilah Reid.

Softchoice has completed the introduction of two major components of the solution, she says. The company went live with the Human Resources management system in last July and the finance modules in January.

Reid says that Softchoice was in need of a robust ERP system that could grow with the company. The Oracle E-Business Suite presented the most appealing offering in terms of its capabilities. Softchoice decided to also introduce the 9i Database with Real Application Clusters because of how well it fit in with the rest of the ERP solution.

The RAC environment is becoming a growth area for Oracle, says Oracle Consulting regional vice-president Jeff Green. Its real value is the ability to use a lower priced infrastructure more cost effectively in a rack environment by by multitasking access accross them.

“”So you don’t have to scale one for one in the infrastructure as the data and complexity of the applications grows,”” he says. “”Rather, we can actually parallel process and optimize utilization of mulitple processors. And this works to increase the efficiency of the applications but also works to optimize the utilization to lower the investment for our customers.””

To make investment in Oracle solutions more appealing to its customers, Green says, the company has chose to approach the Canadian market with a fixed priced model.

The customers get a definite price before the implementation even begins, making the sell easier when it comes to boards.

“”Customers want to understand their pricing as well financial exposure on any implementations up front. That’s part of their business cases. They can ensure that they’re getting the offsetting value in return from these implementations to offset that investment,”” he says

IDC Canada analyst Warren Shiau says that the fixed price model comes from an approach U.S. vendors adopted when dealing with mid-market companies.

He says that companies, when considering a a vendor like Oracle or SAP or PeopleSof,t saw very complex enterprise application suites that may be subject to cost over-runs or subject to over-runs in the implementation time. Certainty that this was not going to be the case made the decision to invest easier.

“”Of course a U.S. mid-market company is the same as a large Canadian company. So the ideas still apply here, but in a different space,”” he says.

Reid says that while the fixed price model was a definite draw it

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